How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?

How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work 1024x536, Club White Smile

‍A bright, white smile signifies good health and hygiene, which many people aspire to. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with naturally pearly whites. Teeth can become stained or discolored over time due to various factors, including age, food and drink consumption, tobacco use, and certain medications.

That’s where professional teeth whitening comes in. This cosmetic dental procedure can transform dull, stained teeth into a dazzling smile that boosts your confidence and makes you feel great. But how does professional teeth whitening work? This article will explore the science behind this popular cosmetic treatment and explain the different methods dental professionals use to whiten teeth.

From in-office treatments to take-home kits, we’ll look closer at the techniques and technologies that make professional teeth whitening so effective. So, if you’re curious about achieving a brighter, more radiant smile, read on to discover the secrets of professional teeth whitening.

Understanding teeth discoloration

Before we dive into professional teeth whitening, it’s essential to understand why teeth become discolored or stained in the first place. Teeth comprise a hard outer layer called enamel and a softer inner layer called dentin. The natural color of dentin is yellow, and the thickness and clarity of the enamel determine how much of the dentin color shows through. Over time, the enamel can wear away, making the dentin more visible and teeth appear darker or yellow.

There are two main types of teeth discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration occurs when the outer layer of the tooth enamel is stained by substances such as coffee, tea, red wine, or tobacco. Intrinsic discoloration occurs when the dentin inside the tooth becomes darker or has a yellow tint. This can be due to factors such as aging, trauma, certain medications, or excessive fluoride exposure.

What is professional teeth whitening?

Professional teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that uses various techniques to lighten the color of teeth and remove stains and discoloration. Unlike over-the-counter whitening products, a dental professional performs professional teeth whitening and is a safe and effective way to brighten your smile.

Professional teeth whitening can be done in-office or with take-home kits. The treatments typically use a bleaching agent, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to break down stains and discoloration on the teeth. The bleaching agent penetrates the enamel and dentin to reach the discolored molecules and break them down, resulting in a brighter, whiter smile.

Different types of professional teeth whitening treatments

Several types of professional teeth whitening treatments are available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The type of treatment that is best for you will depend on your individual needs, budget, and preferences.

In-office teeth whitening procedures

A dental professional performs in-office teeth whitening procedures and typically take around 60-90 minutes to complete. The procedure involves applying a bleaching agent directly to the teeth and then using a special light or laser to activate the agent and accelerate the whitening process.

One of the main advantages of in-office teeth whitening is that it produces immediate results. You can see a significant improvement in the color of your teeth in just one treatment. In-office teeth whitening is also highly effective and can lighten teeth by several shades.

However, in-office teeth whitening is often the most expensive option, and not everyone qualifies for the treatment. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, you may not be able to tolerate the bleaching agent or the light used in the procedure. In-office teeth whitening also requires a significant time commitment, and you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your dental professional.

Take-home teeth whitening kits

Take-home teeth whitening kits are another option for professional teeth whitening. These kits typically include custom-fitted trays that you fill with a bleaching gel and wear for a specified amount of time each day. The trays are made from impressions of your teeth, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit.

One of the advantages of take-home teeth whitening kits is that they are more affordable than in-office treatments. They also offer more flexibility, as you can whiten your teeth at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. Take-home kits can also be used to maintain the results of in-office treatments.

However, take-home kits typically take longer to produce results than in-office treatments, and the results may not be as dramatic. You’ll also need to commit to wearing the trays for a specified amount of time each day, which can be challenging for some people.

LED teeth whitening

LED teeth whitening is a newer type of teeth whitening treatment that uses a light-emitting diode (LED) to activate the bleaching agent. The treatment involves applying a bleaching gel to the teeth and then shining an LED light onto the teeth to accelerate the whitening process.

One of the advantages of LED teeth whitening is that it is less likely to cause tooth sensitivity than other teeth whitening treatments. It is also a faster treatment option than traditional take-home kits and can produce results in just a few days.

However, LED teeth whitening is less effective than in-office treatments and may not produce the same dramatic results. It is also more expensive than traditional take-home kits, making it a less popular option.

Risks and side effects of teeth whitening

While professional teeth whitening is generally safe and effective, there are some risks and side effects to be aware of. The most common side effect of teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity, which can occur during or after treatment. This sensitivity is usually temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and desensitizing toothpaste.

In some cases, teeth whitening can also cause gum irritation, especially if the bleaching agent comes into contact with the gums. This irritation is usually mild and can be treated with topical creams or gels.

There is also a risk of over-bleaching or uneven results if the bleaching agent is not applied correctly. This can lead to a patchy or mottled appearance on the teeth, which can be difficult to correct.

How long do teeth whitening results last?

The longevity of teeth whitening results depends on several factors, including the type of treatment, the individual’s oral hygiene habits, and lifestyle choices. In-office teeth whitening generally produces longer-lasting results than take-home kits or LED treatments.

However, regardless of the type of treatment, teeth whitening is not a permanent solution, and teeth will gradually become discolored over time. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits, avoiding stain-causing foods and drinks, and periodic touch-up treatments can help prolong teeth whitening results.

Maintaining your white smile – tips and tricks

To keep your newly whitened smile looking its best, there are several things you can do to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent staining. These include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with a whitening toothpaste
  • Flossing daily to remove plaque and food particles
  • Avoiding stain-causing foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, and red wine
  • Quitting smoking or using tobacco products
  • Drinking plenty of water to rinse away food particles and keep your mouth hydrated
  • Scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleanings to maintain good oral health

Conclusion – Is professional teeth whitening right for you?

Professional teeth whitening can be an excellent way to achieve a brighter, more radiant smile. By understanding the different types of treatments available and the potential risks and side effects, you can decide whether professional teeth whitening is right for you.

If you’re interested in professional teeth whitening, talk to your dental professional about the options available and which treatment is best for your individual needs. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful, white smile for years to come.

Scroll to Top